Monday's print edition
As has been written before, the mayor proposed increasing the pay for Deputy Mayor Pete Ryan from $80,342 to $85,000, head of the Planning Department Bill Dunne will see his go from $72,450 to $77,000 while the mayor’s confidential secretary, Kathleen Ryan Cassidy, will see her salary jump from $46,597 to $47,800 and the deputy director of public information, Mike Fraser, will go from $46,075 to $47,300.
The last thing I heard is that it could be a split, with Ryan and Ryan Cassidy getting their raises while Dunne and Fraser may not.
I can see not giving Dunne a raise since his position is in the funky United Professionals Employees Union for non-represented employees and I don’t know how you can give one member of the union a raise without the others getting the same — that’s pretty much the premise of collective bargaining. If the Council holds back on Fraser’s raise, though, and gives it to the two others that’s not really fair.
As an aside, I’m not in favor of any of them getting a raise after just a year in office — they would go into effect on Jan. 1 should the Council allow them. Then again, I’m pretty sure that just won’t happen without some modification. This Council is one of the more divisive I’ve seen in a long time and politics and personalities will play a role. That much I am sure of.
Speaking of Ryan Cassidy
I listed her as the mayor’s secretary — and I will preface this by saying I didn’t make it over to the new City Hall on the fifth floor of the Hedley Building yet but have talked to a number of people who have — but I’m not sure she is.
We are told both Carley’s position and Ryan Cassidy’s serve at the pleasure of the mayor so it’s up to him to define their respective job duties. In other words, it’s up to him to put the people in the best possible positions to help the city and its residents.
He may have done that, but if Carley is considered the mayor and deputy mayor’s secretary then what does Ryan Cassidy do to earn her $46,597, which could turn into $47,800 if the raises are approved. In August, I wrote on my blog she may become a community outreach coordinator while Carley would take over being the secretary for both the mayor and deputy mayor. That post was met with some scrutiny but it looks like something along those lines is in the making. We’ve been trying to find out, but it doesn’t appear anyone is sure. There is a bunch of chatter on the Council too, from both sides of the aisle. She may serve at the mayor’s pleasure, but the people have a right to know what she does since she is getting paid with taxpayer dollars.
As another aside Ryan Cassidy is not related to the deputy mayor.
The airways are being flooded with ads and the mailboxes are being stuffed with mailers and who is paying for what is a good indication of how close a race is.
I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of seeing Rep. Chris Gibson and Julian Schreibman ads for the 19th Congressional District.
Siena came out with a poll a few weeks ago showing Gibson up 15 points. Then Schreibman released a poll showing he was down just 2 points. Gibson released one of his own with results more in line with Siena.
I’m guessing the race is somewhere in the middle but the National Democratic Campaign Committee must have some numbers that show Schreibman within striking distance because they are still pumping a ton of money into TV for him. And the NDCC counterparts are spending a ton to protect Gibson so this one could be close.
Another one that must be close is in the 107th Assembly District between incumbent Steve McLaughlin and challenger Cheryl Roberts, an attorney from Columbia County.
The GOP have a 12,000 enrollment advantage but the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee is in the game and are paying for Roberts advertisements — mailers and TV spots — and while they have deep pockets they are not known to throw money at candidates who don’t have a shot.
A third race the ads indicate will be tight is for the open seat 110th Assembly District — to replace the retiring Bob Reilly — between Republican Jennifer Whalen and Phil Steck. I’m getting a ton of mailers from both sides and it appears DACC is coughing up money for Steck and the Republicans are kicking in to help Whalen, who almost beat Reilly two years ago.
I was saddened to hear about the death of attorney Brian Donohue last week. I didn’t know him well but I always found him to be a straight shooter.
He went out with a bang, though, winning the biggest case of his career just months before he died. Of course I’m talking about his defense of George Mott, who was charged with the brutal beating death of Rosemary Crosier in 1994 but who a jury acquitted in January.
Some people didn’t like it, but defense attorneys are charged with representing their clients and he did it well.
This week’s Talespin was written by James V. Franco. He can be reached at 478-5343